Virtual Open Evening 2020

Headteacher’s Welcome

Dear Year 6 Students and Parents

It is a real shame I cannot welcome you in person to William Howard this year for our Open Evening. It is one of those evenings that both I and the staff look forward to as we meet our prospective new students. Times as we know though are not normal currently, so I sincerely hope that our best endeavours to have an accessible virtual Open Evening experience allow you to find out the information you would want to.

The hardest aspects of the school to convey in any virtual way is enthusiasm and opportunity. When you meet our students and staff that is something feedback from any visitors is always overwhelmingly positive about. William Howard does get excellent results as I am sure you aware, from the straight A* students at A Level, to students with straight 9’s at GCSE. We have the academic excellence that in some areas even outstrips many selective schools. It is though the full spectrum of ability and opportunity that we are rightly proud of. The number of students who start apprenticeships directly from school, both at Level 2 and Level 3 is far above the national averages; those students are as important as the ones who will go onto Russell group Universities or Oxbridge.

Beyond the academic, we are very proud of the wider life of the school. Last year, if it had run its normal course, we would have had 15 foreign trips or residentials across the school, from Paris to Berlin, or Arran to Taiwan; the school provides the opportunity for students to explore the world and learn about their part in the global family. There are normally over 45 extra curricular clubs, ranging from sports teams to the orchestra that enables everyone to maximise their talents and participate in what they enjoy most. There is the vibrant House system, competing against each other while also raising money for charity as well as numerous leadership opportunities for students.

The best people to describe what the school is like are not me however, proud as I am of the students and staff. I hope you take the time to explore the links and information we have provided to get that perspective. If there is any other information you would like to find out please do ask us.

I look forward to welcoming you to the school next year and hopefully before if we are allowed.

Best regards
Chris McAree, Headteacher


Introduction From Our Year 6 Transition Lead

Welcome to our online year 6 open evening. We have aimed to provide with as much information as possible about William Howard school and what it is like to be a student here. You can use the video links below to hear from key members of staff at the school and also get a student’s perspective of life at William Howard. You may also want to view our School Prospectus. To understand some of the work we do to support the transition of Year 6 students to WHS, please see our Transition Page.

We are also offering online video sessions for each of our feeder primary schools with a member of the Senior Leadership Team. The sessions will give more information about joining William Howard School and the opportunity to ask questions. Please see the timetable below for your session. We have asked your primary school to send the meeting link directly to you so you are able to access these sessions.

If, after viewing our online ‘Virtual Open Evening’, you have any further questions, please contact me – call 016977 45700 or email (Click here to email Mr Anderson).

Mr D Anderson, Year 6 Transition Lead


Virtual Open Evening Introductions

An overview of William Howard School from:

  • Headteacher, Mr McAree
  • Our Head Boy and Head Girl, Harry and Olivia
  • Year 8 students, Reuben and Sophie
  • Transition Lead, Mr Anderson


Online Primary School Meetings

Find out more about WHS and ask your questions in a live online session. Click on your relevant primary school link at the specified date and time to join the meeting. All meetings begin at 5pm, with the exception of Armathwaite at 5.15pm. (Click here for instructions on how to join a Teams Live Event).

Primary School Link Date of Meeting
Armathwaite School Monday, 28 September 5.15pm
Blackford CofE Primary School Tuesday, 22 September
Brampton Primary School Thursday, 24 September
Castle Carrock School Tuesday, 22 September
Crosby-on-Eden CofE School Wednesday, 23 September
Cumwhinton School Wednesday, 23 September
Fir Ends Primary School Wednesday, 23 September
Great Corby Primary School Thursday, 24 September
Hallbankgate Village School Thursday, 24 September
Haltwhistle Middle Academy Tuesday, 29 September
Hayton CofE Primary School Monday, 28 September
High Hesket CofE School Monday, 28 September
Houghton Primary School Wednesday, 23 September
Irthington Village School Tuesday, 22 September
Lanercost CofE School Wednesday, 30 September
Longtown Primary School Tuesday, 29 September
Pennine Way Primary School Wednesday, 30 September
Scotby CofE Primary School Wednesday, 30 September
Shankhill CofE Primary School Monday, 28 September
Walton & Lees Hill CofE Primary School Tuesday, 29 September
Warwick Bridge Primary School Tuesday, 29 September

Meet Our Students

Some of our outstanding Sixth Form and Year 11 Students give their accounts of their experiences at WHS:


Visit the Departments

A Virtual Tour of the Departments led by our Student Heads of House:

Meet the Curriculum Leaders:


View Our Prospectus

Click here to view our prospectus


Year 7 Admissions Queries

Key Dates:

  • 31 October 2020: Secondary School Application deadline
  • 1 March 2021: National Offers Day
  • 16 April 2021: Pre-Admissions Evening
  • 5 July 2021: Induction Day

When do I apply? And, how do I know if I have got a place?

Applications are now open for places in Year 7 for September 2021. You should have received a booklet from Cumbria County Council – ‘Transfer to secondary school in Cumbria September 2021’. This gives lots of details about the application process.

Applications should be submitted to Cumbria County Council (The Local Authority) by 31st October 2020: (https://www.cumbria.gov.uk/childrensservices/schoolsandlearning/lss/applyforasecondaryschoolplaceforsept17/transfertosecondaryschoolinseptember2019.asp.) You will receive an email to confirm your application has been received.

If you would like a place at William Howard School, you are advised to put us as first preference.

National Offers Day is 1 March 2021 – if you applied online you will get an email, if you applied on paper, a letter will be posted on this date.

On gaining a place at WHS – what happens next?

We will write to you in March welcoming you to WHS and asking you to complete our paperwork. We will also give you details of all the transitional events that we run to make the transfer between primary school and secondary as smooth as we possibly can, for both you and your child.

Is transport to school provided?

Please visit our School Transport Page for information about in-catchment and out-of-catchment transport to school.

Do you visit the primary schools prior to my child starting in September 2020?

Yes. We visit all of our in-catchment primaries and many of the out-of-catchment primary schools. Students like to meet with us in a place that they feel most comfortable and this enables them to put a name to a face and ask any questions that they may have.

What facilities do you have for Year 7 students?

We have a shared Year 7 and Year 8 common room for students which includes an outside area, toilets, and catering facilities.  This is all close to the Year 7 base and form rooms. It gives students the chance to settle into their new surroundings and also socialise with Year 8 students. In addition to this Year 7 students will be in a form group with Year 8 students with the Year 8 students working as mentors through the transition period.

What do you do to make the transition from primary to secondary school a smooth transfer?

We have an extensive programme for students joining us in September. There are visits to meet all of our students in their primary schools and our Learning Provision Department also visit students to help individual students with a smooth transition.  We also have Nurture Groups to help some of our students to settle in. We invite all of the students into school for an Induction Day. The new Form Tutors meet with all students and parents to start the home and school relationship and ensure communication starts early.

As this year’s new Year 7 students weren’t able to enjoy the usual transition process, we provided as much online support and experience as possible. Visit the Transition Page here, for a wealth of information about moving up to William Howard School.

How do you report on student progress?

We report to parents three times per academic year.  We also have two Parents Evenings per academic year. These are designed to help parents understand how well their child is progressing. The first evening is an opportunity to meet with your child’s Form Tutor and discuss progress through the first term and the second evening gives you the opportunity to meet each of your child’s subject teachers. It is also essential that the students attend this evening, as this is about them. We encourage all parents and students to attend even if your child has an excellent report, because we think it is great for the students to hear how well they are progressing.